tv Charlie Rose WHUT June 25, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight we begin with a look at egypt and its new president with hafez al mir razzsy, rula jebreal and steven cook. >> it used to be for the last five, ten years for the people who are commenting on the democratization, everybody was talking about the turkish model. now i think we are going to have the egyptian model in which you have a revolution for a change into civil rule without waiting for decades until the military is no longer the king maker and until you have really a party or candidate elected by the people themselves and that has a very important... that soft power of the model of democracy in egypt is going to affect saudi arabia, all of... without the flagrant
attempts to export the revolution as the iranians have tried at the beginning to do and failed to do. >> rose: we continue with the great photographer taryn simon, her new exhibition is called "a living man declared dead and other chapters. requests that work i think is exclusively questioned so it's dealing with actual events of stories of survival and chaos and complexity and there's a desire to have it all amount to some message or meaning but the way in which i see it is an exploration of those questions that keep you up at night about birth and death and all the stories that are a pileup between it all and what we're doing here and is there purpose and is there evolution or are we just repeating ourselves again and again? and struggling to explore those things and patterns within the stories of chaos. >> rose: we conclude with "new york times" columnist in gail
collins. her new book is called "as texas goes: how the lone star state hijacked the american agenda. " >> there was a tea party rally back at the beginning obama administration. every time a cow moved in texas there was a tea party rally and they were so angry! >> rose: every time a cow mooed? >> yeah, there were quite a few cows in texas. and they were so, so angry and as i was thinking about it i thought wow, they're so angry but if you look at the stopped that's happened, big national changes we've seen over the last 30 years, most of them texas has hit a huge influence in pushing them in one direction. >> rose: a new president in egypt, a a look at texas's influence on american politics when we continue.
>> rose: after the ouster of hosni mubarak, egypt has a new president. yesterday tahrir square was overcome with joy as the military council recognized mohammed morsi as the win over the country's first-ever democratic elections. for the muslim brotherhood, this is a defining symbolic moment after 80 years underground. there's also an important political weapon-- the continued power struggle with the military. all weekend there have been fears of a coup to install ahmed shafiq as president because of morsi's background in the brotherhood. it didn't materialize, however tensions remain high and the new president's challenge will come immediately. the military council dissolved last week and brotherhood leaders have promised to occupy tahrir square until it's
reinstated. joining me from washington. hafez al mirazi, steven cook of the council on foreign relations and rula jebreal, she writes for "newsweek" and "the daily beast" and has just returned from lebanon and cairo. i'm pleased to have allynç of m here. i begin with you, hafez. where are we in terms of the possibilities and the risk with the election of mohammed morsi? >> well, the possibility that we have achieved something significant for egyptians and the history actually of the whole middle east region we are talking about the first civilian to be elected since actually the... there was an opposition called the president in egypt since 1952 until the last couple of days we had only military
people and military background to be ruling egypt. of course on the other side military still have some kind of powers in the interim that was supposed to be... whether it's going to be months or years until we have a constitution when they really give up the rest of powers that they are having now, especially legislative ones and the other things that the president should have, including asking for the military to intervene for securing the country in crisis. >> rose: what do you think mohammed morsi believes he has to accomplish to be president of all the people? >> i don't know if he believes personally. he didn't try as an individual, he ran as the muslim brotherhood so the real question is mohammed morsi has an agenda himself or who's behind him, which is the
muslim brotherhood has their own agenda of power and in society. i mean, it's very clear that after the mubarak ouster they thought and said clearly that they would not run for president. they actually did it. and now that they have the parliament, yes, the particle system dissolved but they won the majority of the parliament and they have the presidency. what kind of agenda they will have will be... you know, they said it's a twine intervention their winng and their election. >> there's a huge question about the nature of government that they would have. today women are scared and are worried and minorities are very worried but the real struggling starts today in egypt. the struggle today between military, the mopls generals and the muslim brotherhood and the outcome nobody will know but i
think mohammed morsi is considered a tech no cat. somebody that came from the political arm of the muslim brotherhood. he's a very seasoned politician. he was selected in 2000 because he's a technocrat in a way. he would try to make deals with the military. >> rose: see the vep, he was not the first choice of the muslim brotherhood but, in fact, he is now the president. what is it that you think he... how he comes to this office with respect to his being the first islamist president as well as his sense of knowing that he has a... certainly a tenuous relationship with the military. >> well, he was, in fact, a second chase of the brotherhood. their first choice was disqualified from running. i do think that morsi at least has spoken some of the right words in terms of bringing egypt
together and calling for an inclusive future for egypt but the real issue what he does now. what he does now will be colored by the relationship between the muslim brotherhood, the office of the presidency and the supreme council in the armed forces. as hafez pointed out, this is the first time in 60 years that the office of the presidency is not in the hands of military officers. that's likely to make the military more autonomous than it has been before and we have scene the june 17 constitutional decree that it is not willing to hand power, real power, over to the first civilian islamist freely elected president of egypt. >> rose: how is shared power with more of hit in the military going to be played snoult >> well, i think you're going start to see political skirmishes and struggles going
on. already the muslim brotherhood has said that president morsi should be sworn into office in a parliament that the military has dissolved. they are going to play to what they believe to be their popular mandate. the military is going to cling to its historic role in egypt and the threat of coercion to get its way. the problem between the muslim brotherhood and the military historically has been that the brotherhood has popular support of vision for egypt but no means to impose its political will on the military. the military lacking vision for the future of egypt only has6 >> plus, the military cares about two things mainly after mubarak ouster:mw immunity, they don't want to see themselves like mubarak in jail which is a very ironic... it's a historical irony. morsi and the muslim brotherhood used to be jailed by mubarak today he's in jail and they have the presidency. yesterday for the first time in
history they went to the house of muslim brotherhood winner and not arrest him but just to compliment him and talk to him. i think they care about the budget. i think 60% of the egyptian economy is in their hands. and they care so much about that. especially morsi clue how to govern or what to do next in terms of creating jobs and development. >> rose: and do you think that the process of govern willing change them? >> definitely. if the example of gaza, which is attacking hamas, attacking hamas will not be applied, they will govern and they will become more moderate in a way because they will be pushed by the society. >> rose: what will a president morsi want to do in terms of relationship with other countries, especially israel. >> foreign relations and foreign policy is not in the front burner for the egyptians and they don't really care much. morsi already said that he's
going respect all treaties and conventions signed by egypt and that's supposed to be enough for the egyptians and the world community. also that the military is really taken from morsi most of the burden in two things. the first one about... worried about war or escalation with israel because they already mandated on the president before he gets into his position that they will keep the power of the cleaning war for the military to approval it. or to use the military even for domestic reasons. the other one is legislation. the legislative powers that the military is keeping now after dissolving the parliament would make it's easy for morsi to say "i don't have anything. all that i'm given is whatever bill that gets into my office i'm going to sign only to accept
go and blame it on the military so we have national unity because they feel together that they are on one side so the environment is working for morsi at least until we have a constitution or for few months to come when the muslim brotherhood would show whether they keep this kind of arrogance under the parliament or that they've already learned the hard lessons that without reaching out to the rest of egyptians who are not islamists they cannot win and even the election is asked would it have been even formal for the favor of morsi had it not been for tahrir and the protests and for the rest of
egyptians that should work for at least a few months. >> rose: steven two do two things, nut in historical context of what it means for egypt but secondly what it means for washington and what is washington worried about? >> well, the last 17 months have been unprecedented. only two egyptian leaders have outlived their leadership before president mubarak. king farouk and the first president after the coupe in 1962 so this is an extraordinary series of historic events but underlying the political ferment in egypt right now are very familiar themes throughout egyptian history. arguments about what kind of government egyptians want what egypt stands for. what are going to be the institutions of the egyptian
state. emphasis on things like social justice. these common themes throughout modern egyptian history. in terms of what it means on a practical level for the united states i think that long distance first not an american story. egyptians are writing their own history and i think the administration has struck the right tone here. they have stepped aside, they have emphasized first principles principles but which we like to believe that we live here in the united states. we've set an expectation about a democratic transition and then sten usually have left it to the egyptian people. after all they have decided to elect mohammed morsi as the president. the united states needs now to be good to its work and also recognizing the history of the united states's involvement with mubarak's egypt needs to take a step back a little bit here and recognize that washington is profoundly unpopular and that it
could do more harm than good by speaking out as forcefully as some suggest. >> what will be the reaction with the rest of the arab world and turkey and iran. >> well for the... now i think that the whole region people are no longer talking about the turkish model. it used to be for us five, ten years for people who are studying and commenting democratization in the arab world and the muslim world everybody was talking about the turkish model. now i think we are going to have the egyptian model in which you have a revolution where a change into civil rule without waiting for decades until the military is no longer. until you have really a party or a candidate that is elected by the people themselves.
and that is a very important affected soft model of the model of democracy in egypt is going to affect saudi arabia without really the flagrant attempts to export revolution that the iranians have failed to do. it's just for people to watch on pan arab stations and even local ones what's going on in egypt and people waiting for a few thousand votes here or there to make the difference i think that would have a very powerful impact that is much more important than what george w. bush tried to do since 2004 or 2003 until now. that didn't cost u.s. taxpayers anything.
>> on january 30, 2005, i was in kuwait. that was an important date because it was the first elections in iraq and i was meeting with a senior kuwaiti official and i said what do you make of the elections in iraq and he essentially dismissed them but after a brief paused he looked at me and said "but if these elections were happening in egypt it would have a profound effect on the rest of the region. certainly egypt's influence has waned over the last ten years but across the arab world people were on the edge of their seats waiting for the final results of these elections to come in. the fact that something like this can happen in egypt it's going to encourage those who want to live in more democratic and open societys to pursue their agendas more vigorously. >> rose: it's an interesting conversation, we'll continue it another time. thank you steven cook.
steven's book is called "the struggle for egypt from mass iner to tahrir square." it might very well now deserve tahrir square plus something else. hafez al mirazi and rua jebreal from news week. thank you very much. back in a moment. stay with us. taryn simon is here. she rose to prominence as a photographer in 2003 for her work with the innocence project where she documented cases of wrongful convictions. she has since earned praise for other exhibitions including "contraband: an american index of the hidden and unfamiliar." in her latest project she photographs bloodlines. she chronicled the stories of 18 families related by either blood circumstance or fate. it's called "living man declared dead and other chapters." here is taryn simon at the museum of modern art speaking about the new exhibition. >> i traveled around the world over the last four years
researching and recording blood lines and their related stories and in each of the 18 works that comprise "a living man declared dead and other chapters" i was investigating ideas surrounding fate and whether our fate is determined by the external forces of governance, religion, territory luck, circumstance or by the internal forces of psychological and physical inheritance. each of the works that comprise these 18 chapters are broken up into three segments. so you have a portrait panel where i systematically order the members of a given bloodline, a text panel is which is designed in a scroll-like form in which i construct the narrative at stake and give census-like information about the individuals that are the subjects of my photographs.
and then there's a footnote panel in which i present fragments of the story and beginnings of other stories and what i wanted to explore was the collision of order and disorder so you have the order of blood which is something we can follow and understand and can't be edited or cure rated and i can't turn left or right butting up against the chaos that's represented in the stories that are the subjects of each work. the subjects of the work are not designed in some cohesive form. each one is its own story and has its own purpose. chapter 15 is more of a performance piece for me and i solicited china's state council information office to select the bloodline to represent china for this project. as you can see, everybody showed up. you can also see the evolution
of the one child only policy. and then in the footnote panel i... they asked me to photograph their media tower and i also photographed the gift bag they gave me when i left. i've always been interested in those murky spaces where we can't necessarily find an answer and there is no conclusion if anything it's this pile, this archive of information and something iskç those points. >> rose: i am pleased to have taryn simon back at this table, this is the book "a living man declared dead and other chapters." you and i have been friends for 15 years. i first met you when i walked outside and saw... you came up to me with a camera. but what's important about you is the evolution to me. i mean, you went not to the innocence project then but you were doing photography in chechnya. you did a range of things. i mean you have... it
me-- and this is the ultimate compliment from me-- been willing to push frontiers with enormous sense of unexpected curiosity. not knowing what you'll find but doing it with courage and with an open mind as to what you might find, both in terms of what i said about you and what is said about the work and the subject. do you agree with that? >> well, i've always had this want to see everything and to experience as much as i can in the short time that i'm here so that... i think that's kind of what fuels it all. >> every... someone said it better than i'm saying it and paraphrasing it badly. every great piece, work, begins with a question. what was the question? >> that work is actually, i think, kind of exclusively questions. it's dealing with actual events and stories of survival and chaos and complexity and there's
kind of a desire to have it all amount to some message or meaning but the way in which i see it is it's an exploration of those questions that keep you up at night about birth and death and the stories that are pileup between it all and what we're doing here and is there purpose and evolution or are we just repeating ourselves again and again and struggling to explore those things and patterns within the stories of chaos. >> rose: and the answers you found were... >> there. i wish i had answers. but i did try to structure the works in this very ordered form to imply certain patterns and codes within the chaos to imagine that the chaos is in some form ordered and to also consider blood which is this order we can all understand. a bloodline. >> rose: d.n.a.. >> yes. but to even consider... to look at bloodlines when a time when
blood as an order is even in question with the development o÷ artificial wounds and people having genetic matching to others across the world who may have no direct relationship to. so these questioning both order and disorder. but not arriving at any... >> rose: and how did you choose your subjects? >> the subjects are... those are personal explorations. it was a global exploration because i was exploring ideas of surrounding fate so it couldn't be bound to certain nations and boundaries but it was sometimes things i read about in fiction and i wanted to see if they existed in reality. other things that i had imagined and they would that i would go and find their actual form which would often be different than the one i originally imagined or through picking the minds of experts and exploring certain topics that i was interested in because it ranges from reincarnation to a blood feud in brazil to test rabbits in australia and the first woman to
hijack an airplane. there are these extreme jumps and entropy that exists. >> rose: did you find most people willing to be cooperative?dph >> that's the bulk of my work and the invisible part of my labor so getting the agreements and getting access and being able to produce these things as an individual person outside of any overarching media structure. for example. it's that... that is my medium in a form and it takes years of letter writing, phone calling and researching and dealing with translators on the ground sometimes when we're working in india or the philippines we have to change the hours of the studio to accommodate whatever time zone we're operating in and that's the bulk of the process. the taking of the photograph is the last bit of the years of that.
>> rose: this is what "time" magazine said about you. said on may 14, 2012, "if taryn simon hadn't become a photographer she could have made a fortune in sales because she has persuasive powers that the rest of us can only dream. she has a way of getting what she wants. if somebody closes a door she says you have to find another way in." and that's the bulk of it. >> and it is a lot of that. it's going a straight line and then suddenly realizing there is a resistance or hesitance to participate for different reasons and finding a way to circle around it. in this particular project there were several individuals who didn't want to participate for different reasons. maybe they didn't want to be associated with the narrative i was highlighting. >> rose: in one case it was the lawyer for hitler who was killed and who was convicted and hanged i guess at nuremberg. >> yes. so that was actually a story... so i documented the descendants
of hans frank, hitler's personal legal advisor, governor general of occupied poland and the piece rests on all of these empty portrait which is represent individuals who didn't want to be associated with the narrative of the work. >> rose: but they sent an item of clothing many of them? >> some are absent completely and others sent clothing to represent their physical presence because they didn't want to be identified with a nazi past but they are willing to collaborate in some form so they sent clothing as a representation of this his tense but willingness. >> rose: what about the rabbits? >> so in... i photographed three bloodlines of test rabbits in australia that were produced in a government research facility and they represent in 1859 a british settler brought over 24 european rabbits for sporting purposes and within 100 years that population, because they're such prolific breeders, exploded to half a billion and became
completely unmanageable. so the australian government is constantly trying to introduce lethal diseases into the rabbit population to control numbers. so they had bread these test rabbits, bloodlines of test rabbits, because bloodlines are used in the research of disease, and they'd infected them wall a lethal disease and were waiting to see if it would effectively kill them. >> rose: and we see the rabbits. >> we see all of the rabbits in president-electsy glad boxes which i designed to allow for the lighting quality that i required and also to keep them still and they all died at the end of the experiment except for a few which were euthanized but a few in those test numbers implies thousands in the wild. so it conveys that it was not effective enough. >> rose: how important, as you mentioned, is the narrative and the dialogue and the... and what you write is central to the understanding of what you
thought about it. >> well, my medium is photography text and graphic design. text is just as important as the photographs themselves and this i use photography in this machine-like form and the way it's churning out these images and implying repetition and pattern and the text is designed in this scroll-like form, text panel and there are different uses of text about the individuals i photographed. the other construct it is narrative that is the subject of the work and they are equally important. but what i'm interest in is visual language versus text wall language as we move more and more toward a visual language with ins gram and all these things and the loss occur sieve writing and text is transforming to look at these the different ways of conveying information and the difficulties of translation between them and how one informs the other and they kind of transform in this
back-and-forth movement. >> you're here in new york at moma, then you go to california. is there a difference in the way you present it depediing on the museum? >> yes. at the gallery in berlin i physically constructed an archive and we recreated these stacks that are hidden in the basement and kind of put them on steroids in the main hall and the works are embedded within them and that's the response to this incredible building whereas in tate modern or moma they are works of art hanging on the wall so it has less of an installation appearance. so it has varied and that was a really lucky experience to work in that building because it forced me to think about my work differently almost like if you consider an archive this pile of information what is said is actually this... is constructed in the space between all that collected information. >> rose: do you have heroes or role models?
>> i have... i mean, my biggest influence has always been my father and my grandfather for that matter. my father was an avid photographer, an obsessed photographer. i grew up learning about the larger world through his slide shows of afghanistan and iran and russia, he's traveling throughout the world. he has fantastical stories attached to his images so it's always text and image and then my grandfather was simply obsesseddk with minerals and the stars and plants and animals an data collection. he was a scientist and made telescopes so it was always this combination of data and image and i like to think i'm following that form. >> rose: i would only add that your grandfather had this penny arcade on broadway which your father ran and he was a wonder interesting character. >> my best friend. >> rose: your best friend? >> yes. >> rose: remains so to this day? >> yes.
>> rose: sharing with you everything with your thoughts and fears and hopes and experiences, loves, everything. >> he's my guiding forth, i speak to him multiple times a day. we're very... he's a huge advisor of mine in terms of the stuff i choose to document and where i'm going and intellectual back and forth. it's a big part of my life. >> rose: do we have an influence on this? >> absolutely. >> rose: in what way? >> i discussed every detail along the way. he had tons of information regarding wherever i was going. we have a fertile back in forth and it's quite... he's a conspiracy theorist of sorts as well so it's always good people to hear those opinions and challenges. if. >> rose: why 18 chapters? >> i wanted it to be precious and to still feel intimate
and... but it needed to have scope so i was aware all the time of the globe and my kind of geographic representation of it. but i also wanted to be nothing that mirrored something else. where you had these distinct jumps and it became choppy and difficult to discern what was going on it within formulas were established. at a certain pointed the done that. i ran out of money. i took me four years to produce this. >> rose: let's look at the visuals. this is india. >> this is the chapter from which i got the title "a living man declared dead." and this represents a bloodline in which three members of the bloodline are listed in the local village registry as dead. they do not exist according to all official paperwork and this was done by other family members who were trying to interrupt the hereditary transfer of land and seize these brothers' land by having them declared dead but
you can see there are empty portraits in this piece and those represent women, living women who couldn't be photographed for religious and cultural reasons so you have this great collapse of logic because i can photograph dead men but not the living women. >> rose: culture. next is israel. take a look at this. the bloodline of a zionist arthur rubin. >> yes. so in this i documented the descendents of arthur rubin who was seventh by the zionist organization in 1907 to palestine to investigate possibilities for jewish settlement but what i was particularly interested in this piece whereas in the consequences of geography so i went too the zionist archives in jerusalem and looked at the early paperwork of the establishment of the jewish state and found these maps where they were exploring british east africa to be the site of israel. so imagining what the world would be like if israel were in uganda.
>> next, a plig myth doctor. >> so this work grows in scale as the blood line increases in numbers. these are... the man at the top left is joseph n' digo. he's believed to cure aids, mental illness, evil spirits and he's paid for his services in cash, cows or get to bus when people can't afford his services they pay him in women who are given to him in exchange for medical treatment. as a result he has nine wives, 32 children and 63 grandchildren all of whom are photographed here in this piece. >> rose: the next is bosnia, bosnia and genocide victims. >> so this is an important work. i wanted to show the interruption of one bloodline from a genocidal act so you can see the man on the top left is the father of the woman sitting next to him and she is followed by her four children, all of whom were killed in the srebrenica massacre. so they are represented by tooth
and bone samples and the fully assembled mortal remains of her eldest son. and it keeps going with other interruptions in the bloodline as a result of these executions. >> from jordan the bloodline of a female plane hijacker. >> this is layla kalid, the first woman to hijack an airplane and she hijacked two airplanes. she had plastic surgery between two hijackings to allow herself to board the second airplane and lives in freedom in jordan. >> rose: what do we learn from that? >> well, this is this, again, is looking at the consequences of geography and how it influenced her life and future. so her entire life's work and effort has been to be able to return herself and her family to haifa where they formerly lived. >> rose: germany, this is the bloodline of hans frank hitler's personal... we talked about that. >> this is the answer senses from people who declined participation for fear of being
associated with the narrative. >> rose:ycs and those who did participate? >> those who did participate with comfortable with the project and with what i was producing. >> rose: what do they get out of this other than their story. >> it varies. there's no kind of answer that would cover what it means to... >> rose: and in an obvious way they get a sense of where they're connected to both past and future. >> right. absolutely. the work itselfplñ is called "te living man declared dead and other chapters" because i'm trying to imagine how using it as a metaphor for how we're all ghosts of the past and future. of what came before us and what will come after. this idea of reputation. >> rose: how are you involved as a photographer in your own mind? >> well, i know in my earlier works i was deeply invested in a single image and in aesthetics and geometry and lighting and color and the privilege of the
single image and blowing it up quite huge and using it as this magical piece and in later works it's about the egg in negotiation of the single image in many ways and a stripping away of all this and sort of an exhaustion of... with that. playing around with its use in its most pared down form as a machine as this collector. and that's where i'm at now. i may return to the single image. >> rose: and other than your dad, what are the biggest influences. >> probably i think. >> it sounds silly but just an awareness of time and its continuum and the kind of violence of that and wanting to somehow...
>> rose: do you find them or do they find you? the subjects. in other words, could this find you or were you in search of something and you think about this for a while and discard it and find this and say maybe and then on further reflection say yes and on further reflection say i have to do it and on further reflection say i have to do it now. >> it's usually that way. it often starts with me feeling lousy about it and constantly trying to twist it and turn it until it gets this certain feeling that's hard to... that language can't necessarily pinpoint. where it has that noise and starts to break down logic and kind of... and represents all of these different sides and interpretations and can create a
mind scramble. but done through actual things as opposed to done through abstractions. >> rose: thank you, good to see you. >> rose: "a living man declared dead and other chapters." taryn simon, back in a moment, stay with us. gail collins is here, in the 2001 she became the first woman assigned as editor of the "new york times" editorial page. she's been an editor of the "new york times" since 2007. her writing is known for an incisive take on politics and her sights are set on the great state of texas. underline great state of texas. the book is called "as texas goes: how the lone star state hijacked the american agenda." pleased to have gail collins back on this table. we'll get to texas in a moment.
tell me about how we're engaged in this campaign. >> in places where i go... and, of course, these are places that turn out for library events and stuff like that. they're very politically involved people to begin with. >> rose: if they show up at a library event... >> you got it. >> rose: they buy books and are interested in elections. >> rose: and they would vote if their legs were both broken. >> rose: exactly right. crawl to the booth. >> they are so worried about what's going to happen because it's such a big election and it looks so uncertain and i keep telling them all, you know, whatever's going to happen will happen because of stuff that happens in september and october. >> rose: in greece. >> in greece. probably. and it's going to be about what happens to a little sliver of people in ten states or so who aren't just that focused that the point in time. >> rose: what makes a state that is a decisive state. >> well, a swing state.
it can go one way or the other. i live in new york city and really i could leave today and nobody would care if i never voted again because it's such a blue state. the. >> rose: president obama will carry new york? >> i think this is a good chance. and the same thing is true of my friends in texas. it's such a red state right now that if mitt romney left town and never came back they would still vote republican. >> rose: you talk about these smart people and you're smart yourself. it's almost even and i saw the latest poll 46-46. >> if i wasn't even now it would become almost even someplace down the line. that's just the way the elections have been for a long time. it gets close at the end. >> rose: could you please lay off of mitt romney's dog? >> (laughs) >> rose: seamus is a good dog. >> he's a good dog and i'm on his side! >> rose: wt's the problem? >> he was on the roof of a car on a highway.
>> rose: can i tell you when i drive to the country you know what barkley wants to do? barkley want knows roll down the window so he can put his head out the window. >> if when this had first come up in 2008 mitt when someone said "why did you drive for 12 hours with your dog on the roof of the car" had said "look, i had five boys under the age of 14, i don't remember a single fling that period. it was such a vortex, possibly bad choices were made, i'm very sorry if it was but i did the best i could. >> rose: or... >> but what you don't say is "the dog liked the fresh air." which is what he said. i'm sorry. >> rose: it's not true. he did it for other reasons. >> he said the dog liked the fresh air. >> rose: was that not true? dog doesn't like the fresh air? >> i don't know the dog liked the fresh air on a highway for 12 hours on tb it seems unlikely. >> rose: especially it was hot. >> it was summertime and he was wet because he had been hosed down by mitt romney in an attempt to clean up the car. >> rose: you think mitt romney
is becoming more authentic as we learn more about him? >> um, he's exactly same guy all the time. we're never... he's never going to seem authentic, he's never going to be somebody that the public is going to love. >> rose: here's the question: is this entire political discussion debate going to change your mind about anything? how open is gail collins to changing her mind about any issue or political candidate? >> i've changed my mind about issues a lot as years go on. >> rose: like? >> i used to be a lot more enthusiastic about sort of the new no child left behind theories of education. >> rose: starting with george bush? >> starting with george w. bush and the whole idea of doing lots and lots of testing to figure out where a school is and holding the school accountable if they fail the test it's a combination.
you had this mix in which you give a school a lot more money and you take the test to make sure the money is being spent well and then somewhere along the line people like president bush started saying "you don't need the money part because the tests are so important, that accountability as long as you've got the accountability you don't need nearly as much money. it's... look at the tests, not at the spending." and so then it became... and in texas right now, for instance, my friends in texas, they've been cutting the heck out of the school budgets in order to keep from raising taxes in the state and texas is not a place that can afford to have less resources for education. it's terrible. they've got huge, huge, huge growing population. >> rose: how about the race to the top? what do you think of that have? >> the race to the top is... i thought it was... and you would have thought republicans would have loved the race to the top because it was really "here's our carrot." >> rose: this is the obama proposal. >> that was to say "okay, you don't have to do this but i've
got this new bunch of money here and if you do do these things then i'll give you more money." that would seem to me to be a very republican approach to this stuff but amazingly the republicans didn't like it at all. >> rose: on the other hand, i had jeb bush on this program for an hour not long ago and one of the things he said he admired was the education program of president obama and his secretary of education. >> rose: one of the big problems with what had been created by george w. bush was that you had every state doing their own testing because states rights so you had 50 tests times god knowh class. people were spending billions of dollars to pay for all these new tests every year and you couldn't compare them because there were so many of them o. so the obama people were trying to get a national standard so you
can have way fewer tests you could compare more. texas is refusing to take part in these discussions because governor perry says it's federal government trying to dictate what his state should do. >> rose: so texas. as texas goes, how the lone star state hijacked the american agenda. i didn't know they hijacked the american agenda. just karl rove or who is this? >> well, they didn't go with either. i was so fascinated when the tea party rallies started, the famous one in which rick perry did not really say "let's secede" but there was much secede talk going on. >> rose: right, right. >> and i was watching these. there was a tea party rally at the beginning of the obama administration, i swear every time a cow mooed in texas there was a tea party rally and they were so angry. >> rose: every time a cow mooed? >> yeah, there were quite a few cows in texas and they were so, so angry and i thought... i was thinking about it that wow they're so angry but if you look at the stuff that's happened, the big national changes we've seen over the last 30 years most
of them texas has had a huge influence in pushing them in one direction. >> rose: make your case. >> savings and loan crisis in the '80s began when the reagan administration was trying to figure out a way to fix the federally chartered savings and loans. it looks to the texas savings and loans because they're making a ton of money, unlike all the other ones in the country. it rechanges its national laws to deregular inkñ texas did. think hadn't noticed that the texas s&ls were cooking the books and the reasons they were so profitable is because they were basically stealing money and eventually this government, the federal government, had to bail them out to the tune of i think $4,500 per person in texas this was a federal bailout, texas didn't mind. the big deregulation, the change and elimination of a wall between the investment banks and the commercial banks. the deregulation of the futures market, all that stuff that happened in the '90s, many, many
many people from both parties were involved. but one big finger in that pie certainly was senator phil gramm of texas who was the author of several of the big deregulations... >> rose: he was chairman of the banking committee. so what do you hear from your friends in texas? >> well, a lot of them have been saying... and this is not self-serving they say "i don't disagree with any of your conclusions but it lax a sense of subtlety about the complexities of life in our state." >> rose: take that! >> which is true. that's an outsider's view of what texas means to the rest of the world. >> rose: what's the longest amount of time you've ever spent in texas. >> i spent most of the summer there this summer. >> rose: doing this? >> yes and i picked the summer to go which was completely totally nuts. a sane person would have... >> rose: can you make the following case, if you want to understand texas you read robin? >> absolutely. one of the interesting things
about texas is how the alamo still overshadows their own self-vision and when i went to the alamo my reaction was, a, what brave men and, b, what a bad plan this was. they should have gone away and saved themselves. but that sense of victory or death, taking really strong stands for improbable causes is very strong in texas and if you look at lyndon johnson, the civil rights act, you see the best possible interpretation of that. the war in vietnam you see the worst possible interpretation of that alamo symptom. so i think he's the perfect example of much about texas. >> rose: but he's also the example... through him you can see the play of powerful forces. >> yes. >> rose: his influence with the oil industry, their influence with him and all of that. not only that, other big huge texas companies. but so did ronald reagan in california. >> ronald reagan... the thing about california is they've had
a lot of different politics. texas's politics have always been what i think of as empty place politics. >> rose: empty place? >> the division in america for me has always been between empty places and credible places. credible place people appreciate government. they can see... >> rose: this would be like... >> new york city is a credible place. >> rose: but new york city is a city, not a state. >> new york city is very crowded. it's now become more of a state of mind than anything else. but the east coast states, the west coast states. empty government? you're all by yourself. if a burglar breaks in... >> rose: frontier. >> yeah, you don't need government running around doing stuff and all you can see of government is it gets in your way and it costs you money. and a crowded place politician wants to make government better and more efficient. an empty place politician wants to get rid of government as much as possible. >> rose: well, that place where it has a strong tax base, too, isn't it? >> well, empty place people,
that's texas for you. and the interesting thing now is it's mental rather than physical. i bet people who live in the woods in washington who feel like they're part of the planetary interconnection, you know? they're crowded-place people. >> rose: i live in texas. >> yes. >> rose: as you may know. >> yes, you became a star in texas. >> rose: and the dallas cowboys were the hottest football team in the country in the n.f.l. >> america's team. >> rose: america's team. the television show "dallas" soon to be re... whatever they do, it was hottest television show and everybody thought texas... the world was texas-centric. >> it still is in my m ways. texas has a vision... the whole world has a vision of what texas is like. i come from ohio which is a lovely state. nobody has a vision outside of ohioians of what ohio is like. >> rose: exactly. >> there are no sweatshirts that say "don't mess with ohio." it just... it's a different world there. it's amazing. >> rose: they have their own
culture. they have their own culture and people understand or they think they understand what that culture is. >> well, certainly people in texas understand what that culture is. >> rose: thitz do with food. it has to do with music. it has to do with football. football big time. >> and the vision of cowboys and people with large hats. of course, there's another texas which is about to be a majority hispanic state that's very poor and... for the most part and much in need of social services and much in need of a really good education and people don't tend to think of that texas when they think of texas. they think of the ail barons. >> rose: the republican party today. tell me it is of texas? about tx sfx? an incarnation of texas? >> it is currently the creature of the tea party being driven by the tea party and the tea party i would argue is very much a creature of texas ideology of empty places ideology. the tea party's one of the first
original organizations of their events was dick armey and his people who were texans. they looked to ron paul as their intellectual godfather originally. >> rose: a libertarian. >> the libertarian and it's just very empty places and all of it's... thoughts words, and actions and texas, which is so huge, so growing, second-highest birthrate many the country after utah and so passionate about stuff-- victory or death-- is driving the tea party in many ways. >> rose: is book is called "as texas goes... how the lone star state hijacked the american agenda" and there you go. >> rose: isn't that a good cover? >> yes. see. a hat thereto on top of the washington monument. thank you. >> rose: great to be here. thank you for joining us. see you next time.